I know that New Year’s Eve in New York City conjures up images of starry-eyed cheering crowds whoot-whooting it up in Times Square. How great would it be to actually be there, to rush in 2018 along with two million of your fellow party-loving Americans?
You read that right: Two. Million.
That’s how many people showed up to watch the ball drop and welcome in 2017, so you can expect at least that many for 2018.
Well, we have but one word of advice for you: Don’t do it.
Folks come to stake their viewing spots starting in the early afternoon, and if you want to keep that space, you cannot leave. So the sad reality is, if you want to get a prime spot, just forget about eating or drinking or even using a restroom for the entire evening. That’s twelve long hours, people. This is not fun in the least–especially considering that Sunday’s weather promises to be around 11F/-11C with arctic wind chills come midnight.
I mean, just look at the people squished together in our featured photo. (And who’s to say you’d actually get a Nivea balloon? There are no guarantees in life, my friends.)
That’s not to say that you can’t have a festive New Year’s celebration, New York City-style! So here’s what we suggest:
For starters, chow down on a celebratory dinner at North Square. As only he can, Chef Yoel Cruz has dreamt up a festive menu to close out the year.
After you’ve stuffed your face, head to the West 4th Street subway station and hop onto a C or B train and zip up to 72nd Street and Central Park West. At the stroke of midnight, fireworks will be set off from the Bow Bridge, which crosses over Central Park’s Lake, mid-park by 74th Street. (The Bow Bridge has been immortalized in classic films like Woody Allen’s Manhattan and The Way We Were with Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.)
The light show can pretty much be seen all over the park, but we prefer hanging out by the Bethesda Fountain, which can be found mid-park by 72nd St. It never gets too crowded, and the view is spectacular.
Yes, it will be just as cold in Central Park as in Times Square, but at least you can go somewhere close by to warm up. There are plenty of bars and restaurants on the Upper West Side that will be open and welcoming revelers.
Image via Anthony Quintano/Flickr